DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — A proposed countywide sales tax which would go toward funding school districts is sparking debate. The 1 percent tax will be on the ballot in March.
Multiple school districts are voicing support for it. They say the funding would go toward paying off existing bonds, improving infrastructure, bolstering school security and keeping their school districts competitive with those in neighboring Champaign County.
Those opposed, including Danville Mayor Rickey Williams, Jr., argue the additional tax will drive people away from Vermilion County to Champaign County.
Danville’s tax rate is currently 9.25 percent, compared to 9 percent in Champaign. If voters choose to support the sales tax, it would raise Danville’s taxes to 10.25 percent, tying the city with Chicago.
Some school districts, including Bismarck-Henning, are working to offset the new tax. Bismarck-Henning’s school board passed a resolution Monday night to put funds raised from the proposed sales tax toward paying off existing bonds as a way to relieve the burden on property owners. Other districts have indicated they plan to follow suit.